From 14 to 34! These are some of the best years of your life, because these are the years of your becoming! The TV network, Freeform, has identified the intricacies of this phase of life and relaunched to provide programming relevant to these “Becomers.” So, what can the Church learn from Freeform; and, how can the Church assist these millennials in their process of becoming…
Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. – 1 Timothy 4:12
My wife and I purchased a Netflix account last summer. We were “binge-watching” the series Parenthood (you can guess why…) when we finished all the free episodes. We discovered the series was available on Netflix at half the cost of one series. One month with Netflix and we were hooked! Plenty of content for our entire family at a fraction of the cost…
Now I am always looking for new shows to watch. When I am bored, I scroll through the different lists for intriguing shows. If a show looks interesting, I add it to “my list” for later viewing.
Something caught my attention last night. Ginny and the boys had already fallen asleep.. I open Netflix to continue watching my shows. I noticed a couple of unfamiliar shows in my “recommended” list. The thing catching my attention was not the shows; rather, the word scribbled across a couple of the show icons caught my attention. The word was “Freeform.” The word was located where the network tag would normally be found (i.e. – ABC; Netflix; HBO, etc.) But, what is this Freeform? I’ve never heard of it!
I went to safari and ran a quick Google search. Moments later, I was reading an article published by Variety. The article explained “Freeform” was the new name for ABC Family. The network received a new name as part of its effort to rebrand and relaunch to remain relevant with their target audience.
So, why am I sharing this non-sense with you? I’m glad you asked. Take a look at the article. The Church (universal) could learn something valuable from the insight of the network’s market research and their decision to rebrand in order to remain relevant to their viewers!
The network, Freeform, has coined their target audience as “Becomers.” These are individuals between the ages of 14 and 34. Many of these individuals were probably the children of the families watching shows on ABC Family (formed in the early 90’s), but these children are now teenagers and young adults. They represent a particular stage of life, which the network refers to as the “becoming” phase. These individuals are moving from high school to college to work, life, and family. The main question these “Becomers” are asking themselves is “What should I become?” — hence, “Becomers.”
The network was not only able to identify their audience, they were able to identify one of the greatest concerns of their audience. In response, the network rebranded, relaunched, and is producing relevant programs for their audience. The network is green lighting programs with character “Becomer” characters – young adult trying to figure out what to become. The shows are designed to address the concern of their target audience…to help support in their viewers in the process of becoming.
As I read the article, I could not help but think how the Church (universal) could learn from the example of this network. I am not suggesting the Church (universal) needs to rebrand and relaunch! I’m simply wondering how we, the body of Christ, would become more effective in our effort to make disciples if we would 1) recognize young people are in a process of becoming – they are concerned with what they are becoming; 2) reconsider our approach with young people – what if we helped young people in the becoming process rather than telling them what to be; and 3) refocus our programming to provide young people with relevant experiences addressing their concerns…
There is more to say; and, I hope to share more in the future. For now, I am curious to know what you think. Are young people in a process of becoming? How could the Church (and local churches) provide necessary support to our young people so they can become?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions! Leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.